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I recently realized that there is a certain similarity between the Sidero/Xavier team-up in the original comedy version of "Gargoyles" and the Hakon/Wolf team-up in "Vendettas". In both cases, a couple of villains team up against the gargoyles, one an original enemy of theirs from the Middle Ages, surviving on only as a ghost, the other a modern-day descendant of that medieval enemy who is scorned by his medieval ancestor for being too "poor-quality". Was the Sidero/Xavier team-up the distant inspiration for the Hakon/Wolf team-up?
Likely it very much was. Of course, the main motivator was the very talented Clancy Brown. But nothing gets wasted, consciously or otherwise.
Now that we had put our comedy development aside and moved on to an action-drama approach, I must have asked Fred Schaefer to come up with (a) some possible names for our new lead gargoyle (the proto-Goliath) and (b) some possible villains for him to combat. Unfortunately, the results were a bit underwhelming. But this was a new area to Fred. We had never developed a show like this before at Disney. It was an adjustment for all of us.
[My handwritten notes in brackets.]
OUR MAIN GARGOYLE -- POSSIBLE NAMES
Dover (carved from the Cliffs of Dover, Wales)
GARGOYLE - POSSIBLE VILLAINS
MORTIFY- A sleazy unemployed (yellow) journalist. Humiliation and embarrassment are his weapons. He's a walking tabloid magazine (not literally), eager to expose people's emotional weaknesses. He gets under people's skin the way Hannibal Lector does, by prying into their personal affairs, but he's much more outlandish and not as gracious and composed as Lector. Mortify obviously relishes an awkward or scandalous moment.
Perhaps he wears a yellow suit with matching hat. He used to be a newspaper reporter, but his journalistic methods were so sloppy and immoral that he was fired and never hired by another paper. So, he decided that he doesn't need to work for a tabloid newspaper to do that damage he loves to inflict. He goes directly to the source -- the innocent citizens of Manhattan. [By these two paragraphs I wrote: "Does our audience 'get' yellow journalism?"]
(E.g. A CEO receives flowers at her home from her secretary. She's confused, but her spouse is obviously perturbed (is she having an affair?) and an argument ensues. Of course, it was Mortify who sent the flowers. In fact, he delivered them himself so he could see the disconcerted reaction of his victim. Now the CEO has been emotionally weakened and Mortify can sabotage the business further (in whatever devious plan he ultimately was up to). [By this paragraph, I wrote "Very subtle."]
LICHEN -- a strange, demented man who lives in the tree tops of Central Park; responsible for your basic muggings, but revels in terrorizing his victims beforehand. He claims that South Central Park is his territory and he won't stop his reign of terror until everyone refuses to enter it again. He's skinny, agile, resembling a spider monkey without the tail. He's petrified of cement -- sidewalks, actually -- and won't venture out of the park. [I wrote "too weak" here.] Strangely, he seems to have control over a large pack of rats that inhabit the Park. Like Willard, they obey his every command. Scary. (Aka Tree Rot, because of his fungus, lichen-encrusted face; and Tree Rat, for obvious reasons.)
VAL STARCH -- Owner of a string of second rate cleaners which are fronts for his illegal business -- counterfeit fashion. Fake name-brand clothes. He always wanted to be a fashion designer, but had none of the talent. Now he doesn't need it as he leeches off the fashion industry and makes a bundle doing it. His ulterior goal, however, is to destroy the New York fashion industry and its most creative talent. On a small scale, he occasionally loves ruining people's clothes at his cleaners. (So he loses a customer, big deal, that's not where he makes his money!) On a larger scale, Starch sabotages other fashion businesses.
(E.G. A big day in the fashion world -- Ellis Perry is unveiling his new line of clothes at the most talked about fashion show of the year. Unfortunately, Val Starch has secretly swiped the clothes and replaced them with replicas, which will fall to pieces by remote control. The fashion models are supremely embarrassed. Cameras flash. Ellis Perry faints. More camera flashes. (Perhaps this one is a co-crime venture with Mortify.) [I wrote: "Too specific. Too gymicky [sic].]
Shortly after the last document I posted, we finally pitched the comedy version of the GARGOYLES series to Eisner, Katzenberg, etc. They passed. So it was back to the drawing board. I showed what we had to Tad Stones, producer of numerous Disney shows including Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck and Aladdin. Tad suggested we go the action-drama route, creating a MAIN Gargoyle protagonist who was more of a tragic figure. He pointed to the success of the Disney BEAUTY AND THE BEAST feature film, and suggested that there was something in that for us.
This, given my comic book background, of course struck an immediate cord with me. Thus the proto-Goliath known simply as "Gargoyle" was born. We deconstructed all that we had created for the comedy series (much of which would later work its way back in to the show) and started from scratch. In some ways this version is even farther away from the end result than we were at our last glimpse of the comedy development. But it was an important step.
What follows is a memo that I wrote up summarizing a development meeting we had late in 1991. Elisa's starting to take a more familiar form. So is Xavier/Xanatos. And "THE GARGOYLE":
(Weisman / Summary of meeting 12/19/91)
1000 years ago in barbaric Briton, an evil Wizard wanted to ransack the castle of the good princess.
Gargoyles are stone sculptures that are used to decorate castles. Inspired by this, the wizard creates his own giant (Beauty & the Beast-sized) Gargoyle. He instructs this engine of destruction to fly to the castle tonight, while the wizard's army attacks from the outside.
(Perhaps he gives the Gargoyle a powder that will temporarily bring the other little stone gargoyles to life.)
The Gargoyle, which is stone colored, even when it isn't stone, flies to the castle, intent on destroying it.
He meets the princess who teaches him the error of his ways. He will fight against the wizard. But as the sunrises [sic], he falls asleep turning to stone. A part of the spell he was not aware of.
When the sun sets again, and he awakens, it is too late. The princess is gone (dead?). The castle has been ransacked. Even the wizard has left him behind. Angry at his betrayal...He is alone. Cursed as an outsider, able to function only during night hours. Frozen as stone during the day.
He stays in the ruined castle over the centuries. Making occasional forays to the outside world. Sometimes briefly, to steal books. Sometimes for long periods to fight evil (World War II, perhaps). But always returning to the castle and his loneliness. He despairs of ever finding a true friend. Despairs of ever having a purpose to his life.
One night he awakens, and finds that some repair work has been done on the castle. Each night he finds that a little more work has been done while he slept during the day. Construction equipment has gathered outside the castle walls.
One day, as he sleeps, the castle is lifted, lock, stock and gargoyle and flown whole across the atlantic to New York, by giant airships.
It is placed on the top of the Xavier Enterprises skyscraper.
Xavier is our arrogant villain. Not comic. Evil behind the scenes. Manipulator. Respectable to the rest of the world. Untouchable.
Our Gargoyle finds himself in this strange new world. Here he meets a young idealistic girl (perhaps a plain clothes police detective) who will be his friend and teach him not to despair. That he can help make the world a better place. In New York, the barbarians are at the gate, every night. This time, he can do something about it.
He becomes a de facto super-hero of sorts, though we don't have to flag it.
Xavier can hire other minor villains, plus we need to create some real psychos, and powerful ones at that, for Gargoyle to battle. Plus the ancient wizard could return in some form. Perhaps he has put his spirit in a amulet. Whoever wears it is possesed by him.
Perhaps, our Gargoyle can still temporarily awaken other gargoyles, little mischevious things who aren't too bright, but would try to follow his orders. But when they sleep each day, they have to be awakened by the magic dust each night or they will remain as stone. Only our hero awakens by himself every night.
Does our young girl have a child?
Who else populates this world?
Is the Gargoyle named Gargoyle, or is there another name for him?
cc: Bruce, Gary, Kat, Bob, Mike, Fred, Tad, DoMo
[This cc list includes my bosses, Bruce Cranston and Gary Krisel, our development associates, Kat Fair, Mike Ryan and Fred Schaefer, our Art Director Bob Kline, "consultant" Tad Stones, and Dolores Morris (DoMo) who was my opposite number in developing MovieToons like "A Goofy Movie".]
In our next document, Kat Fair was clearly given the assignment of pulling all our various threads together, yet what I find the most interesting is my own handwritten note about gargoyles being protectors but being treated like dogs. That was me returning to the series key idea. But we weren't quite there yet:
NOV 20 1991
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE
[My handwritten notes are in brackets.]
[I wrote "Protectors -- treated like dogs" across the top of the page.]
Long afar and way ago gargoyles were disgusting but necessary things. They were kind of like messy flying watchdogs with an aberrant sense of humor. No one really liked them much, but they were a necessary evil because they chased away nasty evil things that would come into town. In their own way, they helped keep the peace, although they were anything but peaceful.
Finally, the evil Sorceress Morgan had enough. There was a particularly annoying group of gargoyles who were spoiling too much of her fun. She enchants some talismans and tricks the gargoyles into wearing them. No sooner are the talismans around their necks than the mischievous gargoyles turn into nasty monsters, bent on destruction. Gleefully, Sorceress Morgan harnesses them to her chariot and sets about wreaking havoc on the countryside.
When good Wizard Xavier hears about this, he takes immediate action. In a confrontation with Morgan, he turns the gargoyles upside down in a monsoon. The talismans fall from their necks and into his hands. He quickly banishes the talismans across the sea (around Manhattan.) Meanwhile, the gargoyles instantly transform into their pesky selves again, furious with Morgan, whom they unceremoniously dump. Then they start fighting with each other. Accusations fly as they blame each other for falling for Morgan's trick.
*Xavier's trying to referee as the gargoyles almost come to blows, so no one sees Morgan sneaking up. She's battered, humiliated and pissed off. At the last moment, Xavier deflects her spell to zap the gargoyles into oblivion. Instead, the fighting gargoyles are frozen in sleep for 1000 years.
*Battered and humiliated, Morgan returns to her castle to plot revenge. Knowing the gargoyles can't resist a party, she sends them an invitation to a gala to be held in their honor, as an apology for all the trouble she's caused them. The gargoyles are suspicious, but talk themselves into being magnanimous and accepting her apology. Once there, the gargoyles have the time of their life, singing, dancing and drinking Morgan's 'special' spiked punch, which puts them asleep for 1000 years. Gleefully, in the dead of night, Morgan puts them over the gates of Xavier's castle. Xavier is horrified and saddened by what has happened to the gargoyles, but there's nothing he can do to counter the spell. [I crossed out "spell" and wrote "drug". Then I crossed out "drug" and wrote "potion".]
Um, in the latest "original development document" that you posted, the one involving Regina Dixon's ideas, the document itself is missing, and only the introduction is there. I thought that you might need to be informed of that.
Yeah, thanks. I fixed that.
Obviously, after showing Gary and Bruce our development in September of 1991, we were sent back to the drawing board to rework our backstory a bit. I'm not sure why anymore. The old one seems much cleaner than what we have here.
Anyway, the way I worked things back then was to have big brain-storming meetings with my staff. We'd all talk out ideas. Reach a general consensus, and then I'd assign Development Associates to write up what we discussed. What follows is the combined work of Kat Fair (I think) and Fred Schaefer. Kat was given the assignment to write up the tenth century backstory. Fred was given the assignment to write up the awakening in the twentieth century. Kat tried two different approaches (A and B) both of which lead into "Fred's outline". At that time, I clearly favored the notion that Xavier's ancestor was good and Morgan's evil. That way we could have a nice flip on the gargoyles and the audience's expectations when we got to the twentieth centuries.
Fred's outline changes Morgan's job (for the first time) to cop. Actually the Police Commissioner. (Elisa winding up a detective ends up being quite the step down.)
NOV 14 1991
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE
[My handwritten notes in brackets.]
GARGOYLES BACK STORY:
A. Gargoyles were put to sleep by the evil wizard for revenge when the good wizard got the talismans.
Once upon a time gargoyles were good citizens whose main job was to fly about stopping evil-doers. They were loyal to Good Wizard Morgan (BSF), who cared for them. Everyone loved the gargoyles except Evil Wizard Xavier (WSM). The gargoyles were-always spoiling his fun, so he invented some evil talismans. When he put these around the gargoyles necks, they became evil, too, and obeyed his every command. The good people were terrified, and begged the Good Wizard Morgan to do something. Morgan warned them that a direct confrontation might mean the destruction of the gargoyles, not to mention damage to their town and possible loss of life. So, knowing the gargoyles couldn't resist a party, he and the townspeople organized a big celebration to lure the gargoyles to the town. While the gargoyles were singing and dancing, Morgan cast a nap spell, which made the gargoyles fall asleep and turn to stone, as sleeping gargoyles do. As soon as they were asleep, the townspeople quickly removed the talismans, and Morgan banished the amulets to a secret place. But before Morgan -could wake the gargoyles, Xavier came, furious that his gargoyles had been stolen. He was even angrier when he saw that the talismans were gone. The gargoyles would be no use to him now, and would become the annoying things they had been before, thwarting his evil plans. If Morgan and the townspeople wanted them asleep,then asleep they'd be. Before Morgan could stop him, Xavier zapped the gargoyles into a 1000 year sleep. . Furious Morgan threw Xavier to the other side of the ocean. [I wrote "Not necessary" by this sentence.] The townspeople, saddened by the loss of their friends, carried the stone gargoyles from the square. They hoisted them onto their favorite perch, above the gate to Morgan's castle, where they remained until they woke up 1000 years later in NYC. [Next to this paragraph, I wrote "Flip Evil Morgan Good Xavier in Back story".]
The last thing the gargoyles remember was being at a party. And wasn't it in their honor? And wasn't Morgan there? Morgan was the only one at the party with enough clout to put them asleep for so long. Boy, you'd think he'd forgive them for what they did when they were Xavier's slaves. The gargoyles can't agree what to do next. Coco wants to find Morgan, Amp tells her she's stupid - Morgan is long gone. Accusations fly as to who got tricked into wearing the talismans to begin with, and who just had to go to the party, anyway. They all fly off in separate directions, never wanting to see each other again. (see Fred's outline)
B. Gargoyles were put to sleep by the good wizard when the evil wizard controlled them through-their talismans.
Long ago and far away gargoyles were disgusting but necessary things. They were kind of like messy flying dogs with an aberrant sense of humor. No one really liked them much, but they were tolerated because they chased away vagrant evil spirits looking for work.
In a small town outside Paris, the evil wizard [I wrote "sorcerous" above the word wizard, but I think I meant "sorceress"] Morgan (BSF) [I put a question mark next to "BSF", but I now realize it means Black Single Female] thinks she could use some of these gargoyles for her own mischief, and decides to unionize the few that guard her town. She tells them they aren't getting the respect they deserve, the townspeople aren't paying them enough for the work they do. What's a few measly scraps and all the stale crepes you can eat when you are literally putting your life on the line every day? The gargoyles had never really thought about it before, but it sounds right. Morgan suggests they come to work for her. She'll feed them, give them uniforms, and make them the most respected flying force in the land. And as a gesture of good faith, she offers them matching medallions, with a new crest of their own imprinted on them. Soon everyone will know and fear - um, love - this crest. Their feats will be heralded far and wide. If they don't like working for her, they can always quit, no hard feelings. The gargoyles try on their medallions. Pretty cool. They feel different already. But when Morgan gives her first order, which is to harness themselves to her chariot, they balk - with surprising results. The medallions burn and hurt! [I wrote: "Not evil. Just forced. We want to see them as gleefully evil w/med. on"] Laughing maniacally, Morgan tells them they are now under her control, and must obey her. The amulets directly connect Morgan to them. The gargoyles valiantly try to remove the medallions, but it's no use. They get into the harness, prodded by the amulets when they move too slow. Off they fly. The wreaking havoc part isn't so bad, it's being at Morgan's beck and call that bugs them. And the food is lousy. [I wrote: "The issue of Morgan-evil etc. is independent of scenario.]
Morgan delights in her new power, and drives the gargoyles unmercifully. Morning, noon, and night, they're out burning down the fields, pillaging villages, and being a general nuisance. Morgan feels confident that she can now take on the Good Wizard--Xavier (WSM), her archnemesis. The gargoyles really don't like this. Xavier's very powerful things could get dangerous. Morgan hitches up the gargoyles and sneaks to Xavier's castle. But the gargoyles are fed up. They're tired of Morgan. If she beats Xavier, the country will be at her mercy - and she has no mercy. At the hottest moment in the heat of the battle, they freeze. In a flash, Morgan screams, the medallions burn, the gargoyles hang tough. Xavier sees his chance, zaps a spell at Morgan, who deflects it onto the gargoyles, turning them all to stone! [I wrote "sleep" here by the word stone. And I also wrote "messy" next to the whole sentence.] Xavier overcomes Morgan and banishes her to a land across the sea. In honor of the gargoyles, Xavier has their stone figures mounted on his castle-above the gate. There they stay until they wake up in NYC 1000 years later. (See Fred's outline)
GARGOYLES/ FROM FRED
The Movie in the Series:
1) Gargoyles wake up in Manhattan; they argue amongst themselves about who was responsible for their falling into Sidero's trap (and hence the 1000 year sleep) . Their argument is so-heated, they take off in different directions, furious with one another. [I crossed out "Sidero" and wrote "Evil Morgan".]
But not without being witnessed by some New Yorkers.
2) Newspapers report on the recent sightings of gargoyles flying between the buildings. Dismissed as a hoax.
3) Sidero's modern heir, Xaxier, sees a television news broadcast about the sightings and immediately knows what's happened. He plans to catch them with the talisman and make them his slaves.
4) Meanwhile, the gargoyles are off separately causing mischief.
5) Ralph and Pandora run into each other. Ralph tries to make-up with her, but she's still bitter. In the middle of their argument, Ralph is captured by one of Xaxier's 3-piece suits and taken away screaming. Pandora is horrified and desperately flies off to search for the others.
6) Morgan Reed, Police Chief of New York, throws down a tabloid newspaper that announces the city has been invaded by flying demons. She curses the media. Their crazy stories are disturbing the peace! There are no such things as gar... suddenly, she sees one ... goyles ... sleeping in a corner of her apartment. The gargoyle (AMP) wakes up and they frighten each other. Morgan backs away. It's stress... that's it ... too much stress on the job. [I wrote "Tough to swallow" by this paragraph.]
7) Ah, make that TWO gargoles, because a hysterical Pandora spots Amp and flies into Morgan's apartment, frantically rambling on about Ralph being kidnapped; the talisman; the possible evil transformation of Ralph, etc. They must find the remaining gargoyles (Lassie and Coco) before Xaxier does!
Morgan doesn't know what to make of all this. All she knows is that the Police Chief of New York can't say she's seen (much less, spoken with) a gargoyle! Reluctantly, she offers to help them out. ("Now what's this about a talisman?")
The following was our first attempt (in September of '91 -- NINE YEARS AGO!!!) to write a pitch to sell our new Gargoyles comedy-adventure show to our higher ups (Michael Eisner, Rich Frank and Jeffrey Katzenberg). This isn't necessarily the version they saw, however. First Kat Fair and I had to get it past our TV Animation bosses: Bruce Cranston and Gary Krisel. This is the version that went to them for approval. The phrases in parentheses describe the visual on the art cards we used. The words that follow are the "script" of the pitch. What I would say as I flipped the cards and showed the pictures. Most, if not all, of this art was drawn by Bob Kline, who was Development Art Director at that time. (I wish I had that art now.)
For those of you who have been to the Gathering and seen the final pitch of the Drama version of the show we all know and love, you'll recognize verbal echoes of that pitch here in this first one. Phrases like "there was a better place for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Europe [or Scotland]" and "lock, stock and gargoyle" made it all the way from this pitch to the last. (And sometimes even into the series itself.)
Other points of interest:
--Morgan's last name is now Reed (a surname we eventually gave to Maggie the Cat), and she's now a second grade teacher and amateur acheologist. This was done to give her and our 'goyles ready access to kids.
--Xavier is now Xavier's FIRST name, which I had forgotten about.
--Amp, though he still looks more like Lex, is now firmly Brooklynian.
--Coco, though still female, is very Broadway.
--For some reason, I was spelling DeMona, with a capital M in the middle. I have no memory of that either.
--And I had completely forgotten about Xanatos' multi-racial "suits", though they were clearly the origin of both his "Goon Squad" and the Steel Clan.
Anyway, here it is:
GARGOYLES PITCH Script
#1. (Three stone gargoyles.)
We all think we know what GARGOYLES are. Ugly, stone creatures squatting on the roofs of old buildings. But have we ever asked how they got that way?
Well, one thousand years ago, Gargoyles were mischievous, troublemakers, driving us humans up the wall.
#2. (Medieval LORD XAVIER of Glint.)
Particularly this human--LORD XAVIER of Glint, who decided he'd had just about enough of their destructive fun and games...
#3. (Lord Xavier drugging the 'goyles.)
So he threw them a party complete with ice cream, cake...and punch, spiked with a sleeping potion guaranteed to last a millennium!
And because Gargoyles automatically turn to stone when they fall asleep...
#4. (The Castle.)
He used them to decorate his castle, where they stayed for a thousand years.
Until his great-great-great-great-great-grandson, XAVIER GLINT, the President of Xavier Enterprises, decided there was a better place for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Europe.
#6. (Castle on the skyscraper, up-angle.)
He moved the whole place--lock, stock and gargoyle--to the top of his personal headquarters in Manhattan...just cuz he felt like it.
#7. (The six stone gargoyles.)
But as the castle settled, things got unsettled. The gargoyles...
#8. (The 'goyles stir.)
#9. (The 'goyles wake up.)
They've been sleeping for a thousand years...
#10. (The 'goyles rise and shine.)
...and now they're ready to PARTY!!
#11. (National Enquirer headline:"Gargoyles alive in NYC!")
Now, that may all sound pretty far-fetched, but this is the kind of world that only the National Enquirer could love. The public may not be able to decide whether the Gargoyles are a new urban myth or a full-on media hoax...
#12. (AMP flying.)
But the Gargoyles know they're real enough, and just as prone to trouble as they ever were.
#13. (Four-pose Amp composite.)
Particularly AMP. Trouble used to be his middle name--his last name, too. It's not that he's bad, he's just easily tempted by...well, uh, temptation!
Fortunately, this self-proclaimed leader has no ready followers. All the Gargoyles are too busy having fun to obey orders.
#14. (Four-pose COCO composite.)
Take Coco, for example. This female John Belushi has the soul of a dancer and the grace of a rhinoceros. She's always up for adventure in this brave, new, 20th Century world.
#15. (Five-pose PANDORA composite.)
Then there's PANDORA. The sneakiest of the 'goyles. I wouldn't exactly say she's a pathological liar, just a born actress who loves to improvise.
#16. (Four-pose LASSIE composite.)
And LASSIE. (He picked his own name.) Loyal, goofy and easily distracted, Lassie's just as likely to be fascinated with the villain's shoelaces as with his ray gun.
#17. (Four-pose RALPH composite.)
Finally, there's RALPH, who thinks adventure is a great thing to watch on television. He's a couch potato kind of gargoyle, who keeps the home fires burning...
...Which isn't always good news if you're MORGAN REED, a second grade teacher and amateur archeologist who's befriended the Gargoyles. She tries to take care of them, keep 'em fed and gives them a place to stay.
#19. ('goyles causing trouble in Morgan's apartment.)
Sometimes to her regret.
#20. (Longshot of castle-scraper.)
Still, it's better than where they used to live. Not that the location was bad, just the landlord...
#21. (Two-pose composite of Xavier looking oily.)
Our old pal, Xavier. This guy makes Gordon Gecko look like Santa Claus. Greed isn't just good, it's GREAT!!
#22. (Xavier admiring his race car.)
Whether it's gold bullion, a race car or a castle on a skyscraper, this is a guy used to getting what he wants...
#23. (Xavier burned by his race car.)
...Prone to getting what he deserves.
#24. (Three-pose composite of Xavier looking frustrated, shocked and angry.)
But now, he's set his sights on the one prize money can't buy--Immortality. If the gargoyles can live a 1000 years, so can he.
#25. (Xavier, OWEN, DeMONA and the SUITS.)
So with help from OWEN, his aardvark aide-de-camp, DeMONA, the one bad apple in the Gargoyle bunch, and his Cadre of muscular 3-piece suits, Xavier's out to steal every magical totem he can find.
#26. (Conflict card: Xavier & DeMona vs. the 'goyles.)
And only the Gargoyles can stop him.
#27. ('goyles save copter.)
You see, the Gargoyles are determined to make up for all the trouble they caused a thousand years ago. This time they wanna be the good guys.
#28. (GARGOYLES cast/title card.)
Trouble is, when you're one of the GARGOYLES, making trouble is so darn much fun.
Another old document from the file. This one doesn't have a name or a date attached. Kat Fair, maybe? It's certainly from this September 1991 era that we've been exploring recently. I don't have any specific memories of these stories, but they obviously served to plant seeds for things that would surface later. Xavier's quest for BIG DIAMONDS and IMMORTALITY surfaces. Amp (half Lex, half Brooklyn) wants to do a little joy-riding. You get the idea.
The Lost Cause Diamond has been... misplaced. And the museum wants to keep it quiet. Knowing that Xavier has always coveted it, Morgan manuvers [sic] to get assigned to retrieve the jewel before he finds out it's up for grabs. Unfortunately, Lassie accidentally spills the beans. Xavier and his crew trail Morgan, planning to let her do all the work, and then snatch the diamond from her. When Lassie takes off to rectify his mistake, the rest of the gargoyles soon realize things are too quiet around the house. They are horrified to discover Xavier is after Morgan - and she's only got Lassie to protect her! They're off to the rescue, making more trouble than Morgan and Lassie can possibly handle.
WHAT MONEY CAN'T BUY:
Xavier has always been fascinated by immortality. It's the one thing his money can't buy. Hoping to impress her boss, Demona pretends to know the hiding place of the last Flaming Zealot, who holds the secret to immortality. Amp and the other gargoyles try to foil her plans and protect the ancient and sacred FZ, who, it turns out, can protect its own nasty self from Xavier, them, and everyone else.
WHO'S GOT THE CAR?
Amp has pushed one too many of Pandora's buttons in the right sequence, and she's mad. Meanwhile, Xavier is preparing for the unveiling of his new Omnitrans. Amp sneaks in for a look, but can't resist test driving the one of-a-kind car. He returns it, but the next morning it's gone! Xavier is furious to find his car is missing, and accuses Morgan, who is arrested. Pandora confesses that she hid it, hoping to get Amp in trouble, but now it's not where she left it! The gargoyles turn the city upside down to get the car back before Morgan is put in jail.
Read your latest "reprint" of the Original Development Documents, and found one bit about the evil wizard Sidero intriguing; the bit about how he finally gained immortality through a magic mirror from which Xavier eventually summons him. I found myself wondering whether this was the first germ or seed of what would eventually develop into "The Mirror" - or at least Titania's Mirror in that story. As far as you know, was it?
Nah. But it did influence another show I developed.
We had to develop this one over and over, despite the fact that I successfully sold it to Michael Eisner on MORE THAN ONE occasion. The problem was that MY BOSS, Gary Krisel, didn't like the idea and kept rejecting every approach. Kept unselling the idea, in essence.
One approach had Captain Hook (easily the original model for Igthorn who was in turn the original model for Xavier) stumbling through the Wicked Queen's Magic Mirror into Jafar's lamp. Jafar can't get out, except on a technicality. If the world turns so evil, that letting him out is redundant, than he's free. So he applies a carrot/stick approach to Hook and has him gather the greatest villains in the Disney Toon Universe to try and turn the world evil.
Our main cast included Hook, Cruella, Don Karnage, Mad Madame Mim, Megavolt, Toadie. Ratigan, maybe. I can't remember now. It was long ago and we went through so many versions. We put together some VERY funny stuff.
There was one story with Ursula and Monstro for example.
Another great series I couldn't get on the air.
Gotta say, I LOVE reading these early documents of GARGOYLES.
I was rather surprised that Amp had originally been two separate characters (Nick and Trouble), and that there was a second precursor to Lexington (Campbell, I think it was).
I was also surprised to find that Dakota's own precursor, Georgette was not originally the leader, but instead the "should-be-leader" character. You had mentioned that the reason you changed Dakota to Demona was that she was too bland and uninteresting to be the leader of a comic team. Why was she made the full leader when the cast was slimmed? Do you think her more "serious" character would have worked in the original role of Georgette?
Human-wise: I never even suspected the inclusion of Sidero, though it sounds like it could have made for some fun conversations. Xavier sounds every bit as Igthorn-ish as I imagined him to be (I don't know why, but just from your original description of him, I thought of Igthorn). And already, Morgan has gone through THREE changes of profession--before she was named she was a lab person working for Xavier, then she became a curator, and finally an archeologist. Actually, after that, she became BOTH of the latter. This woman just wanted to be everything, didn't she?
Owen...I can't help but smile at the image of an aardvark plunking away at a computer or hitting on a woman.
I have always been interested in how you guys originally developed the series. I remember asking the question of the comedic counter-parts of the characters way back when ASK GREG first went on-line. Now I'm learning more of it than I ever dreamed existed.
Thanks. I mean it.
You gotta remember that Development is a process. A series of choices. You can talk about roads not taken, but it's hard to get too hypothetical about them.
As for Morgan, now (as of the memos I posted today and yesterday) she's a pilot and inventor. And we're not done yet. What's interesting to me, is that I'm only re-reading these memos one at a time myself. So I'm often as surprised as you are.